[Wikipedia-l] send in the academics

Andre Engels andrewiki at freemail.nl
Tue Aug 10 15:59:08 UTC 2004

On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 20:04:03 -0400 (EDT)
  Abe <arafi at umich.edu> wrote:
>"Academia" is the name for a huge institutionalized process of peer
>review.  Wikipedia is peer review on steroids, so you'd think that
>academics would be clamoring to contribute to Wikipedia, especially since
>academia and Wikipedia both love free expression and open discourse.  The
>difference is, academia is peer review with competition for prestige and
>resources, and Wikipedia is not.

There's other differences as well. In academia to be a "peer" who reviews an 
article, one has to have shown at least some expertise in the subject first. 
In Wikipedia, I can come in and judge the article on black holes by my own 
misunderstanding of Hawking radiation.

Another point is authorship. Authorship of Wikipedia articles is rather 
vague. This person writes a line, that one a paragraph. The academia way 
would be something like one person writes an article, and if someone else 
has something to say about a subject, that person writes a different 
article, and both articles are shown when the revelant search word is given. 
That's closer to Nupedia and such.

Another point with people from academia is that they are judged by their 
publications. We might change Wikipedia so that the articles are closer to 
scientific publications in form, but then still there is the problem that 
what I write today might be chopped up into something completely different 
by someone else. That might well be too large a difference.

Andre Engels

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